Independence’s boys basketball team found themselves playing a hot basketball team at the wrong time Saturday night, falling to Hillsboro 55-44 in the District 11-AAA championship game.
“It was their night,” Indy coach Greg Glass said of the Burros after the game. “They took advantage of opportunities – made some big shots. Not that we did anything bad or totally wrong, but it was just their night.”
Trailing 25-24 after a first half that never saw a team hold more than a four-point advantage, the Burros went on a 6-0 run through the first 2:15 of the third quarter before the Eagles called timeout. The Eagles would twice close the gap to three points in the following two minutes on 3-pointers by Trenton Perry and Cam Miller yet could never fully recover.
Hillsboro would widen their advantage to double digits in the final minutes of the game from the foul line as Independence frantically fouled the host team in order to gain possession.
Glass thought his team executed their offense game plan well, other than not getting to the foul line enough.
“There were some lapses, but we’ve been able to get dribble penetration against them and kick out for open shots,” he said. “We were able to do that tonight. I don’t think we got to the free throw line enough.”
Normally getting to the charity stripe 15 times in a game, the Eagles shot eight on this night – making six.
The Burros were 9-of-20 in comparison and 6-of-14 in the final quarter.
Hillsboro’s 6-foot-8 Jamonte Davis, the tournaments Most Valuable Player, was a problem for most teams throughout the weekend. Independence played a lot of zone to neutralize the future Tennessee State Tiger – mostly a 2-3 while throwing a 1-3-1 in occasionally.
Davis had a game-high 16 points while B.J. Fleming played an equal role in his team’s victory with 15 points and three 3-pointers.
Miller led Independence with 14 points – nine coming in the second half – while Vic Wharton added 13 points.
Indy, the tournament’s No. 2 seed behind Brentwood, found themselves in Saturday’s title game following a 51-47 victory over Ravenwood in the semifinals.
A tight game throughout, the Eagles escaped with a four-point victory after Raptor Jonathan Coles missed a short-range shot in the final seconds that would have tied the game 49-49.
Wharton shared a team-high 18 points with Ravenwood’s Joey Barnes while Perry chipped in nine for the Eagles.
Independence will once again be a No. 2 seed, advancing to the Region 6-AAA tournament where they will face District 12-AAA’s No. 3 team.